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Q: Rentals for 18 year olds ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Rentals for 18 year olds
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: timespacette-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 21 Apr 2006 22:05 PDT
Expires: 21 May 2006 22:05 PDT
Question ID: 721593
It's been so long since I rented a house or an apartment, and now we
are faced with the prospect of our 18 year old son moving to San
Francisco with his good friend (also 18) and needing to find a place
to live for the very first time.

My question may not have a definitive answer, although a good answer
would not only include common sense advice, but good resources for two
young country bumpkins moving to the city, specifically SF (and yes, I
DO know about

Re: renting . . . what is 'normal' procedure when those looking for
housing are just out of high school, have no credit, no job history,
etc, etc ???  They do have a few local references, but I am wondering
if one of us (they each have a set of parents and a set of
step-parents --- what we laughingly call 'the parental commitee') will
have to sign on as the one responsible . . .

How can we help them in this situation?  (note:  they ARE good kids,
conscientious and hard-working, but I think not quite cognizant of
real world realities)


Clarification of Question by timespacette-ga on 21 Apr 2006 22:06 PDT
Actually, they DO have job histories . . .  just not local to SF . . .

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 22 Apr 2006 11:36 PDT
Hi  timespacette-ga,

Are your son and his friend familiar with San Francisco and its
neighborhoods? It's essential that they educate themselves on this
score. Weather, transportation, parking, rental rates, demographics
and many other factors come into play when deciding where to live. San
Francisco is famous for its distinct neighborhoods. What research have
they/you done already? Do they have a tentative budget? What factors
are important to them? The more you can tell us, the more likely we'll
be able to help.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by timespacette-ga on 22 Apr 2006 15:35 PDT
Hello czh-ga, and others . . . thanks for your comments so far . . .

The boys just got back from a five day trip to SF by bus, just to get
familiar with things and get interviews with their respective schools.
My son will be going to a music school that is located at Fort Mason;
his friend will be attending Gallileo Academy of Math and Science,
also in the same area; so that's the 'neighborhood' but I think it's
quick expensive there (the Marina district and surrounding area).

As far as 'parking, weather, transportation . . . ' etc, etc,    They
plan to not have a car, to save money and knowing that parking is a
hell-realm is SF.   They spent their five days taking the city bus and
were shocked at the price of the cable cars.  It just so happened that
they were there on the 100th anniversary of the big 1906 earthquake
and all the city busses were free that day . . .

Weather . . .  hey, they're coming from the Great Pacific North Wet .
. . .  I don't think they'll be bothered by the fog too much.

We haven't talked about budgeting. I like the idea of having them pay
my bills for the next few months . . . . or doing something like that
to get the idea across.

As far as crack goes .  .  .  there is NO WAY they would try that
stuff; they've already seen what it's done to certain people in our
little town here.  Still, I realize there are other substances . . .
point well taken.

I guess the question of neighborhoods might come down to this:  are
there fairly safe and cheaper neighborhoods in SF that have good
access to the Marina district by city bus?  and not TOO far away?

They plan to buy food in bulk (leaning toward natural foods) and make
alot of their meals at home, so information about food co-ops, if they
exist in the city, would be helpful . . . maybe even info on
employment opportunities with a co-op.   Also, second hand clothing
stores . . . anything that helps one live in SF on a shoestring budget
would be helpful.


Clarification of Question by timespacette-ga on 24 Apr 2006 11:11 PDT
hello?   czh-ga?  hello?

no hurry, just wondering . . .


Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 24 Apr 2006 11:52 PDT
Hi timespacette-ga,

Thanks for following up. I have another question locked right now but
I should be able to post an answer for you shortly. I'm glad to be
able to help.

~ czh ~

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 24 Apr 2006 12:50 PDT
Hello timespacette-ga,

I want to confirm that I have the right schools before I proceed with
answering your question. Are these the schools?
Blue Bear School of Music
Blue Bear School of Music
Fort Mason Center,  Building D
San Francisco, CA  94123
Phone (415) 673-3600
Galileo Academy of Science and Technology 
1150 Francisco St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-749-3430

You said the boys are 18 years old. Galileo is a secondary school so
I?m wondering if I have the right school. I also note that the Blue
Bear School of Music?s longest program is 18 months. Please clarify
how long the boys are planning to stay in San Francisco. The
information they need, especially about housing, will depend on the
length of their stay. Many landlords require a 12 month lease.

Please confirm that I have the right schools. Also please add more
information about how long the boys plan to stay and what they plan to
do and accomplish while they?re in San Francisco.

I look forward to your clarification.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by timespacette-ga on 26 Apr 2006 14:19 PDT
Hello czh-ga,

Sorry, my GA email notifications are still not working right . . .
thanks for writing with more questions.

Yes, you have the right schools.  My son's friend is actually
finishing high school at Galileo; he's an amazing runner -- was MVP
for our soccer district -- but our local high school does not have a
track team so he planned it this way: to graduate a year later and
attend a good high school in SF that has a track team and get his
residency too, so that he can go on to a CA university for less
tuition. He doesn't know yet which university he will attend.

And yes, Blue Bear is the one. He is aware of the problem of rentals
and practicing music; BB does have some practice space at their

My son will certainly have to find a job while he attends classes --
food service, or possibly as a stone mason or tile laying beginners
level work.  Or anything else that pays well and isn't backbreaking

His friend may have to get a part time job, but I think his school
load will be significant, so his parents will probably suplement his

Their plan is to be there at least a year, possibly longer, but
certainly not less than a year.

Hope this helps!

Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
Answered By: czh-ga on 27 Apr 2006 13:18 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello again timespacette-ga,

Doing this research for you reminded me of my arrival in San
Francisco. When I first arrived in the City I lived in a residence
club while I looked for a job. I didn?t have a car but many
destinations were walking distance and public transportation was easy.
I eventually found roommates and started my career. I have very fond
memories of my early years in San Francisco.

My research shows that many of the options I chose are still available
and might be a good way to go for your son and his friend.

The schools they?re planning to attend are in a fantastic location. I
suggest that when they?re ready to look for a place to live they might
want to live in a short term rental. The Fort Mason Hostel might be a
good choice. They could also explore staying at other hostels or
residence clubs while they orient themselves to the city.

I?ve collected a variety of resources in San Francisco?s
neighborhoods, apartment rental information, how to get your first
apartment and public transportation. These should answer many of your
initial questions and provide additional topics for exploration.

I hope your son and his friend will have a wonderful time in San Francisco.

All the best.

~ czh ~

San Francisco Neighborhood Guide
Map Detailing SF Neighborhoods

San Francisco Neighborhoods & Districts

Destination San Francisco
Beyond Tourism San Francisco

San Francisco Neighborhoods

Zurdo Go San Francisco is a photographic guide to San Francisco's
neighborhoods and attractions.

Fort Mason Hostel

San Francisco Apartments and Residence Hotels
(This site provides lots of links along with down-to-earth advice.
It?s a great place to start your explorations.)

Available Beds in San Francisco ? Hostels and short term housing

San Francisco Hostels

San Francisco Homestay
Safe and affordable housing for international students, interns, and
visiting professionals.

s.f. bayarea craigslist > city of san francisco > apartments for rent

San Francisco Apartments Rentals Roommates Houses
San Francisco Districts and Neighborhoods Map
Search for all options of Fully Furnished
There are 178 results for your search.

Search for San Francisco Apartments
49 Properties Found 

San Francisco Apartments

San Francisco Apartments & Roommates

Roommate Search

San Francisco Chronicle 

San Francisco Real Estate Guide

A global directory of student accommodation websites and associated links.

How to Move out of Home Into Your First Apartment

Time for My First Apartment?

So You Wanna Move to a New City?
So You Wanna Find an Apartment in LA?
(Many of the suggestions are helpful in moving to any new city.)

A Guide to Renting Your First Apartment

So, the kid's moving out? 
A mother's advice for kids renting their first apartment

About 511 Transit 
Comprehensive Transit Information for the San Francisco Bay Area

511 Transit brings together route, schedule and fare information for
all transit services in the Bay Area. Whether you are a newcomer to
the San Francisco region or have lived here for years, this Website
provides information that makes it easier to get around on public

San Francisco Municipal Railway.

San Francisco Public Transportation

San Francisco Bay Area Public Transportation


san francisco neighborhoods
san francisco home OR apartment OR room rentals
student housing san Francisco
hostels san francisco
hostels san francisco fort mason
timespacette-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
thanks so much for the plethora of info!   I'll get back to you with
another question if something specific arises with their situation,

Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: sonoritygenius-ga on 22 Apr 2006 08:49 PDT
Let them go live in a motel/hotel for a week or so, do job hunting,
get a job over there - stay another week, and work at the jobs. Ask
them if they would like to rent and live there, and than you will have
a definite answer ;)
Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: myoarin-ga on 22 Apr 2006 10:08 PDT
Having helped my daughter find three places to live as a student, I
will venture a couple of suggestions.
You all should do some advance research on the rental market: size and
prices, and  decide on a max. rent, and the Parental Committee
separately also agree on a final higher max. price, if they just can't
find something for the max. told them.  Face it, you don't want them
them in a dump in the wrong part of town.

If they cannot get a lease on their own, the Committee  - I think - 
should be prepared to cosign with a strong understanding among
yourselves and for the young men that everything is mutual:  that it
is their responsibility to stick together in the lease with the
obligation towards each's parents if they don't.

Sharing an apartment is an adventure, but there are responsibilities
and duties too: security, cleaning, a modicum of orderliness, how to
share other expenses and to reserve cash to do so.  Lots of possible
differences, something to be discussed with them and maybe drawn up as
House Rules.  You might also give them information on landlord-tenant
law, this site or others:

Also information of California law that could affect them:  drinking,
driving, ..., especially if you don't live in the state.

I would let them try to find a place by themselves, but have a male
parent inspect it, perhaps not obviously as a parent if they are able
to sign a lease without support.  A landlord would always prefer to
have a parent co-sign.

What experience to they have with bank accounts and credit cards? 
(Knew a young female MBA who had problems with the latter, and you
have seen the questions here on that subject.)

'nough comment.  :)

Cheers, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: czh-ga on 22 Apr 2006 11:32 PDT

Your comments are helpful but I find your injunction that they "have a male
parent inspect it" rather amazing. I've rented many aparments on my
own and helped many friends find suitable places to live and I've
never felt the need to have a "male" inspect it.

I agree that a thorough inspection before renting is important and any
damage or problems should be noted in the rental contract. Take
pictures and note any agreements about when and how repairs will be

My first apartment after college was in San Francisco. I loved it and
I think it's still a fun city for kids just starting out.

~ czh ~
Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: cynthia-ga on 22 Apr 2006 13:54 PDT

I would write them a reference letter to present to potential
landlords, outlining the kids accomplishments and goals. Ask the other
parents to do the same. Include contact information. Ask them to call
with questions or concerns.

I musr agree with the research aspect. If the kids aren't careful,
they will just take something cheap. Then, they might end up in a bad
area where the drug dealers come out at night. All it takes is one of
the kids to bring some crack cocaine home, wanting to "just try it"
--and it's all over. It might be best if you could find a basement
apartment in a house with a family, in suburbia. Cheap rent is cheap
for a reason. Call the SF Police department (non emergency number) and
ask for the neighborhood names to avoid.

WHen I was preparing my children to live on their own, I had them
start paying my bills. Everything but sign the checks. They could see
the electric bill, the gas bill, the cable bill, the amount spent on
food, car insurance, etc. After 3 months of that my son decided he
wanted to stay home.

I'd be an active participasnt in the house/apartment selection. Help
them create a budget. One person from the parent committee could fly
to SF every month for the first few months to be sure things are on

The kids sound great, but caution is definitely called for, no matter
how great they are temptation is terrible at that age.

~~Good luck!!
Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: myoarin-ga on 23 Apr 2006 13:24 PDT
Hi Czh,
I read you, but two 18 year-old boys don't have the experience of a
college grad, and landlords may look askance at them as tenants
(preferring women).  Despite what parents expect or confirm about
them, landlords may have other experience.

Since the boys want to cook for themselves, which I think is great,
you might let them cook for one and the other family on a regular
basis to get practice and support.  It sounds like a fine idea, but
without experience, it can seem easier to get a pizza or big mac. 
Will also let them learn about hygiene, balanced diet and food care. 
Bulk food sounds good, but even stuff that keeps forever can attract
meal worms (?), etc.  There must be appropriate cookbooks for young
males, cooking on a shoestring, etc.  Maybe the friend doing math and
science would be intrigued by one on the science of cooking  (what
actually happens when an egg or meat cooks, and so on).

And it occurred to me that if your son needs to practice his music in
the apartment, this is a consideration when choosing one and taking a

Lucky guys!  Cheers
Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: hammer-ga on 24 Apr 2006 11:25 PDT

The schools themselves may be your best starting point on this. This
is a continuous issue for them. They can probably provide
recommendations, lists and guidance. You may also be able to talk to
the parents of sophomores and up who were recent freshmen and see what
they did and how it worked out. School communities tend to make
themselves available to incoming students to help them get their feet
under them. This is not a new thing for them.

I'm not sure where you live now, but if it's not the West Coast, your
kids will be stunned across the board by how much *everything* costs.
The cost of living out there is staggering compared to many other

- Hammer
Subject: Re: Rentals for 18 year olds
From: czh-ga on 30 Apr 2006 19:43 PDT
Hellp  timespacette-ga,

I hope the boys will find the information helpful. I think they'll
have a wonderful time in San Francisco. Thank you for the five stars
and generous tip.

~ czh ~

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